Three-Way Race for BCS

Three games left in the Big East football season and there's so much to be determined. Louisville has clinched a share of the Big East title but the Cardinals, Cincinnati and West Virginia still have a shot at the Bowl Championship Series bid.

Here's how the championship scenario sets up for the final three games:


• Has clinched a share of the BIG EAST title.

• Clinches BCS bid with a Cincinnati loss to Connecticut Saturday.

• Clinches outright title with losses by Cincinnati (to Connecticut) and West Virginia (to USF).


• Clinches tie for BIG EAST title with win against Connecticut Saturday.

• Clinches BCS bid with a win at Connecticut and a West Virginia loss to USF.

West Virginia

• Clinches tie for BIG EAST title with win at USF Thursday.

• Clinches BCS bid with a win at USF, a Cincinnati win against Connecticut and being ranked higher than Cincinnati and Louisville in the final BCS standings.

Now, the Big East Conference power rankings for Week 14 of the college football season:

1. West Virginia (8-3, 4-2): The Mountaineers have fallen far short of expectations, but after beating Pitt in the Backyard Brawl, West Virginia is back in the BCS standings at No. 23. WVU remains the best team in the Big East.

2. Cincinnati (8-3, 4-2): The Bearcats have switched to a two-quarterback system, much like their opponent in this Saturday's huge game – UConn. Cincinnati plays tough, physical defense and will be playing for a BCS bowl against the Huskies.

3. Louisville (7-5, 5-2): The Cardinals surged to the Top Three by finishing out the season with a 5-1 record in the final six games. Still, it's hard to get past the fact that they were so lucky to beat UConn two weeks ago. But a win is a win, right?

4. Rutgers (8-4, 4-3): Rutgers coach Greg Schiano felt as if he had been kicked in the stomach about 50 times when the Scarlet Knights lost to UConn Saturday With so much on the line, it really was a poor response by Rutgers.

5. Pitt (5-6, 3-3): The Panthers are at No. 5 – ahead of UConn - only because they beat the Huskies convincingly earlier in the season. This isn't a very good Pitt team.

6. UConn (5-6, 3-3): The Huskies played their most complete game of the season Saturday against Rutgers. It's hard to say if that will carry over to the game at Cincinnati. UConn hasn't had back-to-back victories all season, but if that happens UConn will be bowl eligible.

7. South Florida (5-6, 1-5): The Bulls lost to Louisville 34-24 last week. Sorry, but I can't see USF defeating West Virginia to become bowl eligible.

8. Syracuse (5-6, 1-5): How do you go 5-2 to start the season, beat West Virginia and miss out on a bowl bid? The Orange fell to Cincinnati 30-13 last weekend for a fourth consecutive loss. That's how.


Thursday, December 1

West Virginia at USF.......................................8 p.m.

Television: ESPN

Series: Tied, 3-3

Last Meeting: Oct. 14, 2010 — West Virginia, 20-6

Saturday, December 3

Connecticut at Cincinnati.................................Noon

Television: ESPN

Series: Cincinnati leads, 5-2

Last Meeting: Nov. 27, 2010 — Connecticut, 38-17

Syracuse at Pittsburgh.....................................Noon

Television: ESPN2

Series: Pittsburgh leads, 33-30-3

Last Meeting: Oct. 16, 2010 — Syracuse, 45-14


Offensive Player of the Week: Teddy Bridgewater, Fr., QB, Louisville

Defensive Player of the Week: Julian Miller, Sr., DT, West Virginia

Special Teams Player of the Week: Corey Smith, Jr., P, West Virginia

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